Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
David Safier posted earlier about how Sen. Rich Crandall should love "ObamaCare" for providing health insurance for his children with pre-exisitng conditions. As David frequently notes, "Republicans seem to lack an empathy gene, it usually takes some kind of
personal experience ("Oh my God, this is happening to me! We've got to
do something!") to change their hearts.
Case in point, here is the story of Clint Murphy, a Republican activist who worked as a paid staffer for Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, who decided that he loved "ObamaCare" after his experience with testicular cancer. A Republican conversion to Obamacare:
If Newt Gingrich
sits near the top of the Republican food chain, Murphy was one of those
underpaid GOP soldiers who slogged through muddy grassroots in campaign
U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell’s patronage took Murphy
to Washington in the 1990s. He volunteered in Casey Cagle’s successful
effort to become lieutenant governor in 2006, took a paid position in
John McCain’s 2008 presidential effort in Florida, and served as a
salaried staffer during Karen Handel’s gubernatorial push in 2010.
so Murphy’s Facebook post on Obamacare last week, addressed to his
Republican friends, was something of a surprise: “When you say you’re
against it, you’re saying that you don’t want people like me to have
There is nothing like a bout with testicular cancer to bring focus to your life, Murphy explained over the phone.
was an invincible 25-year-old working the 2000 Republican National
Convention in Philadelphia when he was diagnosed. Four rounds of chemo
later, all covered by insurance, the cancer was in remission by 2004.
But the damage had been done. He was now a man with a medical record.
work is an on-again, off-again for many, as it was for Murphy. Some of
that work offered insurance — the McCain presidential campaign had an
excellent plan, for instance.
But in his supplemental occupation,
as a real estate agent, Murphy hit a roadblock. “That’s when I got into
the pre-existing thing,” he said.
The year 2010 was a rough one.
Murphy lost his mother to brain cancer. He left politics, weary of its
meanness, and went full-time into real estate. After a decade of living
cancer-free, he thought the insurance companies might lighten up.
Instead, they found something else.
“I have sleep apnea. They
treated sleep apnea as a pre-existing condition. I’m going right now
with no insurance,” said Murphy, now 38.
When Georgia’s health insurance exchange opens in October, Murphy will sign up. “Absolutely,” he said.
would like to call himself a Republican, but has been too dismayed by
his party’s cavalier attitude toward the health care debate. “We have
people treating government like a Broadway play, like it’s some sort of
entertainment,” he said. So call Murphy an independent.
isn’t perfect, the former political spear-carrier said. “But to even
improve it, to make something work, you’ve got to participate in the
process. [Republicans] are not even participating in the process.”
* * *
Murphy doesn’t have things fully sorted out yet. On one hand, he thinks
repealing Obamacare will push people like him into bankruptcy, which
could lead to welfare. “Increasing the cost of government,” he wryly
On the other hand, despite his personal epiphany on "ObamaCare," Murphy intends to support Karen Handel for the U.S. Senaterace in Georgia next year. "Handel's campaign informed us that the former secretary of state
remains committed to “a full stop and defunding of Obamacare in its
entirety now.” She has endorsed the effort by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz,
R-Texas, and others to shut down the federal government this fall if it
doesn’t happen." Oy.
Maybe "ObamaCare" covers treatment for cognitive dissonance as well.
UPDATE: Clint Murphy was inteviewed by Chris Hayes and walked back his support for Karen Hadel for Senate. 'A bridge too far':
And what of reports that he's supporting Handel next year?
"I must say that I was really taken aback by [Handel's] position
because I definitely expected a more nuanced position that would, you
know, talk about the parts of the law — obviously the one that affects
me the most, affects a lot of people the most, the pre-existing
"But, you know, blanket defund, blanket repeal, those aren't
realistic policies because they're never going to go anywhere. They're
going to go anywhere. And so, the people out there talking that are
doing nothing but scaring people. They are preying on the lowest common
denominator politics, and it's really a disgrace, in my opinion.
"I'm really — I think it's unfortunate that that's the position that
her campaign has decided to take and I wish them all the well, but it's
just a bridge too far for me to go on."
If others start to look at this issue in a similarly
serious way, Republicans may pay a price at the ballot box for their